Category Archives: Teaching

Resources for GT Educators

 

Virtually all national and state organizations provide resources via their websites and during conferences. Please note that 2e resources are generally listed under parent resources. We will include an extensive listing in our weekly blog post. In recent years, organizations that serve the gifted community and schools also provide both free resources and fee paid resources. We will also include these in our blog post.

There are several publishing companies which cater to the GT community and provide excellent curriculum resources. General education websites also include resources specific to gifted and talented; such as, edutopia. Also, universities which offer gifted education certification have resources available on their websites and for purchase.

The Legacy Book Awards from the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a great resource for book recommendations. Modern Curriculum for Gifted & Advanced Academic Students from Todd Kettler is a good resource.

What are the best tech resources/online programs for GT teachers? We like Brian Housand – a former #gtchat Advisor, who has a great tech website for GT educators. A4 Of course, we like resources from our very own #gtchat Advisor Ginger Lewman and her website.

On our @gtchatmod Twitter account, we have a list for ‘Who to Follow’ on Twitter and a list of Texas GT educators on Twitter Also, on gtchatmod’s personal account @ljconrad – there are lists for U.S. gifted education on Twitter and Global gifted education on Twitter.

Where are the best places to network for GT educators? Conferences and conventions for gifted organizations are great places to network. TAGT Leadership Conference will be help April 14th to 16th this year in Georgetown, TX. Edcamps are also good places to network as well as during professional development opportunities. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

TAGT Leadership Conference from the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented will be help April 14th to 16th this year in Georgetown, TX.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2PM NZST/Noon AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

 Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Resources for Educators of Gifted Students (Elementary and Secondary)

High Quality Curriculum for Gifted Learners

Forming Flexible Learning Groups (pdf)

A Teacher’s Guide to Flexible Grouping and Collaborative Learning

Tips for Critically Evaluating Online Gifted Education Information

Fighting Fake News! Teaching Critical Thinking and Media Literacy in a Digital Age (B. Housand)

Common Core and America’s High-Achieving Students (J. Plucker) (pdf)

Common Core State Standards, National Science Standards and Gifted Education

Gifted Education Strategies

Gifted & Talented Enrichment Curriculum (pdf)

Challenging Highly Gifted Learners (The Practical Strategies Series in Gifted Education)

Differentiating Instruction for Gifted Learners (SlideShare)

Texas Gateway for Online Resources

8 Essential Tips & Resources for Educators of Gifted Kids

Byrdseed

Tips for Teachers: Successful Strategies for Teaching Gifted Learners

Chicken Soup for the Gifted? Differentiation in the Regular Classroom (Fiedler) (pdf)

Practical Recommendations and Interventions: Gifted Students (pdf)

GT Strategies and Resources (Corsicana ISD)

Teacher Resources from Todd Stanley

Gifted Resources: Curriculum

50 Resources for The Parents & Teachers of Gifted & Talented Students

Resources for Educators

Gifted Education Resources for Educators

TED Ed: How to Boost Student Access to Gifted & Talented Education Resources

You CAN Do The Rubik’s Cube Program

Bright & Quirky

Illustrative Mathematics

Khan Academy

Code Monkey

Flocabulary

Genius Hour: Passion Projects that Ignite Innovation and Student Inquiry (Amazon)

When Math Happens

AUS: Hawker Brownlow Education

Boost: 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Our Twice-Exceptional Children (Amazon)

Teaching Gifted Kids in Today’s Classroom: Strategies and Techniques Every Teacher Can Use (Amazon)

Successful Teaching in the Differentiated Classroom (bn)

Raisin’ Brains (GPP)

Cybraryman’s Gifted and Talented Page

Cybraryman’s Twice-Exceptional Children Page

Joy Kerr’s Genius Hour Livebinder

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

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Reassessing the Need for Soft Skills for Gifted Students

 

Soft skills – aka non-cognitive skills or social-emotional learning skills – can be categorized in many ways. In school, we consider communication skills, problem solving skills, critical thinking and concise writing. They also involve resilience, resourcefulness, integrity, ambition … habits that improve learning. Soft skills revolve around the realization that mastery is an ongoing process and not based on hard and fast rules. Soft skills can be applied in any circumstance one chooses to use them.

Considering that soft skills need to be taught even though hard to measure; skills such as self-regulation, flexibility when faced with new situations and motivation to get things done can all help students succeed. Career success must embody the adoption of soft skills such as dependability, adaptability, working on a team while maintaining positive relationships with others. Other invaluable skills include stress management, facilitation and leadership.  Advanced soft skills are necessary for career advancement; skills often needed earlier in life for GT students and include networking skills, negotiating skills, savvy self-promotion, and the skill of persuasion.

Academic expectations for GT students are extremely high throughout the school day … expected to be leaders, independent learners, team leaders, great communicators … all of which can lead to burnout. GT students and their teachers are mainly focused on academics and achievement; easily measurable expectations. Soft skills may be overlooked, but necessary for these students just as they are for all students. Many GT students struggle with interpersonal relationships, dealing with failure and perfectionism, working in class with age-peers. They need to be taught perseverance, flexibility, regulating emotions.

How do soft skills help our 2e kids to be successful? The very nature of twice-exceptional students – having needs to be met, but often misdiagnosed or mis-judged … calls for nurturing of soft skills in their everyday life. When 2e kids are given the tools to succeed; they can live a more fulfilled life without the stresses associated with social and emotional setbacks.

Soft skills need to be taught and well-prepared teachers are essential for this task. The most simple soft skills – reading social cues, socializing with age-peers, respecting others – are the foundation of a successful life. They can aid in self-confidence and emotional regulation.

Best practice for teaching soft skills begins in the realization that these skills aid in learning. Teachers who model excellent soft skills such as self-regulation, patience, and empathy will be the most successful. In teaching social skills, best practices values students’ voice and attitude towards education, school attendance, and behaviors. Student outcomes are dependent on more than test scores and achievements. Soft skills can be integrated into the curriculum through project and problem based learning, 20% time, and genius hour which encourage time-management, self-control and self-reflection on the educational process.

Parents of gifted students can reinforce soft skills outside the classroom by modeling these skills in their everyday life. Character building based programs can have wide ranging positive influence on their children. They can seek to build a positive relationship with their child’s teacher and school personnel. They can model the use of patience and perseverance in difficult relationships; seeking additional support when necessary. Parents who place value on soft skills are uniquely positioned to teach them at home as well and to focus on the benefits of future outcomes for success in their child’s life.

A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2PM NZST/Noon AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

 Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Study: Teaching Noncognitive Skills can Spur Better Long-term Student Outcomes

Understanding a Teacher’s Long-Term Impact

What Do Test Scores Miss? The Importance of Teacher Effects on Non-Test Score Outcomes (pdf)

Teaching for High Potential: A Focus on the Soft Skills (pdf)

No Mind Left Behind: Understanding and Fostering Executive Control–The Eight Essential Brain Skills Every Child Needs to Thrive (book bn)

Empathy at Work for High-Potential Young Leaders

Why You Need to Focus on Soft Skills

Four-Dimensional Education: The Competencies Learners Need to Succeed (book)

Four-Dimensional Education – The Competencies Learners Need to Succeed (YouTube 1:18)

Helping Gifted Culturally Diverse Students Cope with Socio-Emotional Concerns

Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education (book bn)

Gifted Children’s Bill of Rights

Beyond the Test: How Teaching Soft Skills Helps Students Succeed

The Turn-Around, Upside-Down Alphabet Book (book)

Hannah’s Collections (book bn)

The Most Magnificent Thing (book bn)

Should Schools Teach ‘Soft Skills?’ Many Say ‘Yes’

The Soft Skills College Students Need to Succeed Now and in the Future

Soft Skills List – 28 Skills to Working Smart

What It’s Really Like to Transition into Self-Management

Why Being Smart is Not Enough — The Social Skills and Structures of Tackling Complexity

Six Ways to Teach Social and Emotional Skills All Day

Mind Matters Podcast: True Grit – Fostering Tenacity and Resilience (Audio)

Cybraryman’s Soft Skills Page

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Performance-Based Assessments

 

Performance-based assessments provide a more realistic way of assessing skills which reflect real world lived experiences. Students need to be prepared for workplace environments that don’t rely on standardized evaluations. Employers seek out those who can demonstrate the ability to apply their skills and utilize their knowledge-base to identify and solve problems. Students need to be prepared to meet these challenges. Performance-based assessments showcase or measure a student’s use of higher order thinking and their ability to create products and complete processes.

Performance-based assessments provide a way for students to be able to apply knowledge across multiple disciplines and increase their worth as productive and valuable employees. Students learn to be contributing members to group work and able to develop viable action plans in new situations on a timely basis. Performance-based assessments make students more responsible for demonstrating what they have learned.

What are some drawbacks of performance-based assessments? These types of assessments can be difficult to conduct in larger classes as compared to standardized testing. They are more costly and time consuming which can be problematic in tight budget environments.

We know that standardized testing can affect outcomes for marginalized groups of students, but that doesn’t necessarily imply that performance-based assessments are a superior alternative. In order to better meet the needs of diverse learners, how project-based assessments are designed and implemented is a better indication that greater equity will be achieved. Performance-based assessments can benefit diverse learners when paired with technology, customization, teacher collaboration and professional development for teachers and staff.

How can teachers create performance-based assessments for their students? They must first have a clear and definable understanding of their subject matter and then be able to identify goals they intend to assess. Teachers should set course standards, be prepared to identify students’ learning gaps, design the course, provide materials and implement educational learning plans.

Performance-based assessments become authentic when they are considered meaningful and students are engaged. Consideration should be taken that the product created or final activity provides a way for students to demonstrate their understanding of the subject matter. Authentic assessments such as presentations, portfolios, performances or projects must be open-ended and open to multiple potential outcomes. A transcript of this chat is available at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2PM NZST/Noon AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Performance-Based Assessment for 21st-Century Skills (Prufrock)

Performance-Based Assessment: Reviewing the Basics

Taking Teaching to (Performance) Task: Linking Pedagogical and Assessment Practices (pdf)

Stanford: What is Performance-Based Assessment? (pdf)

What is Performance-Based Learning and Assessment and Why is it Important?

Developing Assessments of Deeper Learning: The Costs and Benefits of Using Tests that Help Students Learn (pdf)

Authentic Ways to Develop Performance-Based Activities

Performance Based Assessment

Does Performance Based Assessment Produce Better Students?

Performance Assessment and Authentic Assessment: A Conceptual Analysis of the Literature (pdf)

Connecting Performance Assessment to Instruction: A Comparison of Behavioral Assessment, Mastery Learning, Curriculum-Based Measurement, and Performance Assessment (ERIC)

Fairness in Performance Assessment (ERIC)

Guidelines for the Development and Management of Performance Assessments (ERIC)

Developing and Implementing an Assessment Plan

Program-Based Review and Assessment (pdf)

Basic Steps of Program Assessment

Performance Based Assessment & Learning (YouTube 3:08)

Performance-Based Assessment: Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners

Performance Assessment: A Deeper Look at Practice and Research

Cybraryman’s Assessments Page

Image courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Benefits of Online Learning for Gifted/2e

Our guest this week was Madeline Goodwin, of Exceeds Expectations Learning – 2EL. Our chat centered on the benefits of online learning for gifted and 2e (twice-exceptional) students.

Online learning for gifted students can be a way for these students to study with intellectual peers despite geographical barriers or lack of peers in local area. It has numerous benefits for 2e students who may struggle socially or emotionally to work or study in a regular classroom. The benefit of smaller classes and more individualized learning shouldn’t be overlooked.

Parents should take time to research whether their child would benefit from online learning. Participating in a free online class such as Khan Academy or similar program allows the student to experience online participation. Consideration should be given to the academic needs of the student and what classes are available. Also, it’s important to determine if classes fit in with long-range goals or may simply be taken for enrichment or a student’s passion. A student’s schedule should also be considered; does the student have time to take online classes?

What is the time commitment to take an online course? It is usually based on the program being taken. It may follow a semester format or calendar format. Online courses have evolved over time to include online live sessions, opportunities for  study sessions, and ability to meet other students from all over the world.

Online learning is excellent for public, private or homeschool students to work in areas of interests not available to them otherwise. They can be extremely cost-effective for both schools and families.

Resources can be provided to help students connect with other students. Many online classes provide times for online chat sessions for students to meet, ask questions, and study together. GT students work well with intellectual peers, but often don’t have contact with them in real life. When possible and appropriate, students may want to schedule time to meet outside of class or even facetime with classmates or instructors.

Take time to make sure a student wants to engage in online classes and has the requisite skills to complete tasks, stay focused, and time to commit to online learning. Before starting an online class, seriously plan for what to do if things don’t work out. Devise a plan B just in case and hopefully it will never be needed. Parents should be prepared to provide a strong family support system to ensure a successful outcome for their child. We encourage you to read the  transcript of this chat for additional information which may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2PM NZST/Noon AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Distance Learning Programs

Distance Education: Where It Started and Where It Stands for Gifted Children and Their Educators (pdf)

Online learning: A Smart Way to Nurture Gifted Kids

For Frustrated Gifted Kids, A World of Online Opportunities

Virtual Schools and Online Learning for K-12 Students is not a Trend or a Fad

Serving Gifted Learners Beyond the Traditional Classroom: A Guide to Alternative Programs and Services (Prufrock)

Online Learning for Gifted Students: An Idea Whose Time has Come

Is Your Gifted Child Ready for Online Learning?

Meeting the Challenges of Working with Gifted Students (pdf)

Distance Learning for Gifted Students: Outcomes for Elementary, Middle, and High School Aged Students (pdf)

Beyond the Classroom Walls: Teachers’ and Students’ Perspectives on How Online Learning Can Meet the Needs of Gifted Students (pdf)

“Just What I Need”: Gifted Students’ Perceptions of One Online Learning System (pdf)

Examining the Effectiveness of Using Web-based Learning for Gifted Students: Jordan as Case Study

Science, Creativity and the Real World: Lessons Learned from the U.S. Homeschool Community

Cybraryman’s Blended Learning Page

Cybraryman’s Google Hangout Page

Cybraryman’s Skype Page

Cybraryman’s MOOC Page

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Photo courtesy of Madeline Goodwin and graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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